A tunable metabolic valve for precise growth control and increased product formation in Pseudomonas putida

Christos Batianis, Rik P. van Rosmalen, Monika Major, Cheyenne van Ee, Alexandros Kasiotakis, Ruud A. Weusthuis, Vitor A.P. Martins dos Santos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Metabolic engineering of microorganisms aims to design strains capable of producing valuable compounds under relevant industrial conditions and in an economically competitive manner. From this perspective, and beyond the need for a catalyst, biomass is essentially a cost-intensive, abundant by-product of a microbial conversion. Yet, few broadly applicable strategies focus on the optimal balance between product and biomass formation. Here, we present a genetic control module that can be used to precisely modulate growth of the industrial bacterial chassis Pseudomonas putida KT2440. The strategy is based on the controllable expression of the key metabolic enzyme complex pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) which functions as a metabolic valve. By tuning the PDH activity, we accurately controlled biomass formation, resulting in six distinct growth rates with parallel overproduction of excess pyruvate. We deployed this strategy to identify optimal growth patterns that improved the production yield of 2-ketoisovalerate and lycopene by 2.5- and 1.38-fold, respectively. This ability to dynamically steer fluxes to balance growth and production substantially enhances the potential of this remarkable microbial chassis for a wide range of industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-57
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Flux redirection
  • Growth control
  • Metabolic valve
  • Pseudomonas putida
  • Pyruvate dehydrogenase


Dive into the research topics of 'A tunable metabolic valve for precise growth control and increased product formation in Pseudomonas putida'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this